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Asparagus Velouté

['2 pounds (1 kg.) white asparagus', '1 quart (1 L.) chicken stock (or store-bought), or chicken broth (or store-bought or made from a bouillon cube)', 'A bit of sugar (1 cube if you have cubes)', '5 cup (30 g.) cornstarch', '1 egg yolk', '1 cup (25 cl.) heavy cream', 'Salt']

1. Wash the asparagus. Cut 2 inches (5 cm.) off the tips and save them for another use. Do not peel the stalks but cut them into 15-inch (3-cm.) pieces.
2. Bring the stock or broth to a boil in a soup pot. When it bubbles, add the asparagus pieces and sugar. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Blend and pass through a fine strainer (a chinois if possible), pressing on the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Put the soup back in the pot, bring back to a boil, and boil about 30 minutes more.
4. Thoroughly mix the cornstarch in a bowl with 1 tablespoon cold water. Beat the yolk and cream together in a bowl large enough to hold all the soup.
5. When the soup in the pot has been reduced by about half, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly, and then gently pour everything into the bowl with the egg-cream mixture, whisking as you pour.
6. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the soup pot and heat very gently in order to thicken. Stir with a spatula and turn off the heat at the first sign of boiling. Blend. Season with salt as necessary.

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